Thinking Beyond the Sandwich
Megan McNamee MPH, RDN, and Judy Delaware, OTR/L co-own Feeding Littles, an online company that helps parents of babies and children feed their families with confidence via online courses and resources. Feeding Littles promotes eating together when possible, keeping mealtimes positive and fun, offering a wide variety of all foods, and teaching kids how to listen to their bodies without rigidity or restriction. Follow along at @feedinglittles.
Do you automatically associate school or daycare lunch with sandwiches? Most people do! Sandwiches are a great option because they’re so versatile, but there are so many other nourishing and tasty foods that make up a great lunch. Furthermore, if you only serve your tot sandwiches, they’ll only learn to eat…sandwiches! The more variety you offer kids, the more variety they’ll eventually learn to eat.
How do you move beyond sandwiches and still provide a filling lunch that will keep your kid focused and happy? The combination of protein, fat, and fiber help regulate blood sugar which keeps kids – and adults – satisfied longer. Fortunately, the design of the Bentgo Kids Lunch Boxes encourages us to offer multiple types of food in kid-appropriate portions and gives us space for non-sandwich ideas! The lunch ideas listed below include this combo of nutrients and are completely appropriate as a meal. Modify the ideas listed for allergies, eating skill level, and preference. Remember to keep perishable foods cold with an ice pack inside a Bentgo Bag!
Idea #1: Hard boiled egg cut in half + cheddar cheese pieces + whole grain crackers + sliced bell peppers + cooked peas and beans + orange segments + dark chocolate chips in the center compartment of your Bentgo Kids box
Idea #2: Full-fat Greek yogurt (can sweeten if desired with maple syrup or honey, use dairy-free if needed) with cranberries and chia seeds on top + whole grain dry cereal + quartered grapes + cucumber slices + roasted sunflower seeds in the center compartment of your Bentgo Kids box
Idea #3: Whole grain tortilla with sunflower seed butter and banana rolled up and sliced into “sushi” pieces + freeze-dried raspberries + string cheese stick + carrots (cook or very thinly slice for kids under 4) + hummus in the center compartment of your Bentgo Kids box
Idea #4: Mini bagel (whole grain if possible) with cream cheese + quartered cherry tomatoes + cooked black beans + chopped avocado (top with lemon juice to keep from browning) + raisins in the center compartment of your Bentgo Kids box
Idea #5: Leftover chicken teriyaki with cooked rice + steamed broccoli + mandarin orange segments + fresh pineapple + ranch in the center compartment of Bentgo your Bentgo Kids box
These are just a few lunch combinations that don't include a sandwich, but there are a million more! Get creative, and follow @bentgo on Instagram for more inspiration!
Need More Non-Sandwich lunch ideas?